5 Important Content Marketing Lessons
Content marketing… Have you mastered it yet? Because the way we reach audiences is constantly changing, chances are we can all learn a thing or two about content marketing. It’s also easy to fall into bad habits. At its basic core, content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing where you engage with your audience using content that is relevant and informative. It is a way for brands to fully develop their story and to build trust with their target audience.
As you implement your 2017 strategy, here are a few things that should shape your content marketing strategy.
Listen to what your audience wants
We’re constantly talking about knowing who your audience is when it comes to building your brand, and that rings true for content marketing as well. Constantly monitor the engagement levels with your content to see what works the best and what can be cut out of your strategy.
Be conversational with your audience so it feels like there is a human behind your brand. And make your content easy to read by breaking it up with headers and lists. Shape your content by how your audience would prefer to consume it. Once you can figure out the right mix, you will be well on your way to success.
Quality over quantity
One of the most difficult factors in content marketing is the struggle to create engaging content regularly. In fact, 60% of marketers feel that this is an issue. You want to make sure that you aren’t burning out on content – your audience will be able to tell. If you are churning out content for the sake of having content, then it might be best to cut back on your posting schedule. Write one blog per week instead of three, or post three times per day on Twitter instead of ten. There comes a point where you might just be adding clutter rather than staying relevant.
One quality factor that you also can’t overlook are your headlines. Eight out of ten people use headlines as the deciding factor in whether they will continue reading or not. Use the opportunity to grab the reader using stats, lessons learned, humour, sarcasm – whatever will appeal to your audience most.
Always check your facts
To stay relevant, you should incorporate trending topics and current events into your content marketing. However, with the influx of “fake news” and “alternative facts” out there and the race to be first to the table with a new story, you will stand out in a positive way if you take a step back and check your facts before posting. Don’t just ride on personal instincts and experience, back it up with cold, hard facts.
Tell a story
Your content marketing strategy is your opportunity to build a consistent narrative surrounding your brand – showcase your brand personality and have a little fun with it! Provide a unique perspective by working with influencers and loyal customers while you get personal with your audience. Pretend you are speaking directly to an audience of one to help bring them into the narrative. Sometimes that means making your customers the heroes of your story – hello user-generated content anyone?!
Share your content and share it some more
Your content should live on. As we all know, nothing ever truly disappears in the digital world. Share your blogs more than once, share your most popular images across all platforms, and revisit “evergreen” content. “Evergreen” content is content that remains relevant and valuable over time. Depending on your business, you probably have content that you have shared over the years. Populate your content strategy by re-sharing some of your most engaging content.
One last thing to remember about sharing is that your readers will want to share your content as well. Make it easy for them to do so and thank them when they do share it.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting marketing approach, but it does take some work to get it done right. Use the upcoming year as your jumping off point for a great content marketing strategy.
A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.